When Jenny and Aaron Stash wanted to settle down in Northbrook, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, they searched for a house that would meet their requirements. For the Stashes, that meant sustainability, high indoor air quality and energy efficiency. After an unsuccessful search, the Stashes decided to build a home of their own. They carefully designed and built a three-floor, 3,500-square-foot house and incorporated many sustainable elements into its architecture. The Stashes outfitted the home with bamboo flooring, fiber-cement siding, LED lighting and one of our extremely energy-efficient cooling and heating systems.
The Stashes called in Michael S. Kollman, AIA, LEED AP and the president of SmartHaus, Inc., Prairie View, Illinois, a high-performance home design-build company, to find an HVAC system. The selected system would need to provide year-round comfort and be energy-efficient. Kollman worked with two University of Illinois engineers to find an answer for the house. The result: our Zoned Comfort Solutions™.
Kollman said, “Mini-split heat pumps with a conditioned energy recovery ventilation system would give us all the features we wanted and the highest-obtainable indoor air quality. We also looked at geothermal, radiant and forced air systems, but because the envelope is so efficient we just didn’t need a tremendous amount of energy. Mini-splits were the perfect solution.”
The Stashes’ home qualified for LEED® Platinum certification thanks, in part, to our system’s ability to reduce distribution losses and optimize energy. In addition to helping achieve LEED certification, our system also allowed the Stashes to see a great reduction in energy usage. Compared to other houses in Illinois, the Stashes’ home uses just one-quarter of the energy each month!
To read more about the Stashes’ LEED-certified home and how it saves energy all year round, check out the full case study.
We are pleased to announce that our PremiSys® Fusion Dedicated Outside Air System has received industry recognition for its innovation.
Two publications, School Planning & Management and College Planning & Management, jointly hosted the 2016 New Product of the Year Award program. PremiSys Fusion took home the Gold Award in each publication’s HVAC category.
The New Product of the Year award program honors outstanding products and services from manufacturers and suppliers that enhance the learning environment. An independent panel of judges from the education community selected winners in the second year of this contest.
At Mitsubishi Electric, we pride ourselves on our thought leadership and this award win reinforces our product innovation. If you would like to read more about our achievement, check out the announcement.
If you would like to learn more ways to maximize square footage and occupant comfort, check out our Architect newsletter and white paper.
To this point, the latest McGraw-Hill Construction report on new and remodeled green homes found that energy-efficient appliances are some of the first things homebuyers look for in a new house — second only to having enough square footage to live comfortably. This was true for both millennials and baby boomers — two generations poised to purchase homes in great numbers.
Why do homebuyers look for energy-efficient appliances? To save on monthly costs and anything related to maintenance. It’s common knowledge that HVAC systems account for a significant portion of monthly energy costs, so many homebuyers think of these systems first. In the latest study by the National Association of Realtors, homebuyers were asked to rank which features are most important to them in their new house. Respondents said HVAC systems were the number one essential feature when it comes to environment.
It’s no surprise the appetite for energy-efficient appliances and the concern over HVAC energy costs has resulted in strong and ever-increasing consumer demand for energy-efficient HVAC. Countless studies and surveys are concluding this very same thing — some looking at demand, others at supply. One example is Navigant Research’s recent report showing that annual revenue from energy-efficient HVAC systems will almost double in the next 15 years, growing to $33.2 billion by 2020.
For builders, the focus on energy-efficient appliances — and energy-efficient HVAC in particular — is an incredible opportunity. If homebuyers are looking for appliances from trusted, well-known brands, builders can feature these products. If buyers are searching out green-certified homes, builders can embark on green projects. This seems to be a time of “if you build it, they will come.” And, even more so, “if you build it energy-efficient, they will buy.”
If you want to learn more about why homebuyers want efficient products in their homes, check out our Builder newsletter.
The Bicycle Hotel & Casino is a popular gaming destination in Los Angeles with a newly added high-end boutique hotel. When the project team began searching for an HVAC system for the hotel, they knew exactly what they were looking for: a quiet system that could deliver superior performance in a 24-hour facility. They knew our Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) would meet their criteria.
Doug Lee, architect, Lee & Sakahara Architects, Irvine, California, was familiar with our VRF technology from previous installations. In addition to its quiet operation, our technology also offered fewer branch controllers – meaning fewer ceiling access panels – and a two-pipe system, helping to save on material and labor costs.
Even before completion, the system was receiving positive feedback. VRF’s small footprint and flexibility allowed a quick installation in a bustling location that never shuts down. “We wanted a system that would help facilitate and speed up that construction. We had the system installed in 50 days,” said Lee.
Most importantly, the system’s quiet operation leaves hotel guests in a comfortable, peaceful environment. It has even contributed to the hotel and casino earning recognitions like CALGreen and SoCal Edison certifications!
To learn more about the quiet and versatile HVAC system in Bicycle Hotel & Casino, read the full case study here.
If you want to learn more about remote facility management, check out our Facility Management newsletter.
Brannon Gardens is a newly built community in the suburbs of Lexington, Kentucky, offering customizable, ranch-style homes. As residents began to move in, several complained about experiencing thermal discomfort on the bedroom level. The cause: ineffective traditional HVAC. The entire community – some already built, some just spec’d – would need to find a solution to address the zoning issues. That solution: our Zoned Comfort Solutions™.
William Richmond, owner and president, Richmond Mechanical, Inc., Lexington, worked with the home builder to fix the airflow issue. Richmond came to the conclusion that dampers would not solve anything and adding a second HVAC system wasn’t practical. The project team took interest in our systems’ INVERTER technology, among many other features and benefits. For Richmond, the answer was clear: “I researched all of the brands. Mitsubishi [Electric] is the only one that goes to 13 below zero. It’s the only one that has a 3-ton air handler you can put ducts on and run to multiple rooms.”
With our Zoned Comfort Solutions, residents of the Brannon Gardens community can now achieve comfort in all parts of their homes at a lower cost of operation. Many residents are also using our kumo cloud™ programmable controller app, which allows them to control their indoor units remotely over their smartphone, tablet or computer.
To learn about Brannon Gardens, which will build another 200+ homes in the next four years, outfitted exclusively with our cooling and heating systems, read the entire case study here.
As a society, we are increasingly demanding sustainability in all facets of life. The effect on the building industry has been staggering. Owners and managers of commercial buildings have quickly learned that going green can save on operating costs and can attract more, higher-paying tenants. As the U.S. Green Building Council recently learned, the result has been a dramatic increase in demand for green facilities.
Some of that demand is being met by new, high-performance buildings. To fully meet the mandate, however, the industry will need to take on a significant number of green commercial retrofit projects. The good news: The U.S. Energy Information Agency’s recent Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey found that about half of America’s commercial buildings were built before 1980 – creating a wealth of buildings just waiting to get the green treatment.
The scope of each commercial retrofit will include meeting tenant requirements for features like rooftop gardens, recycling and composting programs, and green transportation options. The list of mechanical systems that engineers will be asked to update isn’t unexpected. It includes:
For all of these systems, the question will be what technology or product can help a project meet its client’s needs and budget, as well as today’s building codes. A frequent answer: super-efficient, state-of-the-art technologies – the same ones that were once considered “alternative.”
If you want to learn more about green retrofits, check out our Engineer newsletter.
In late September, one of our Elite Diamond Contractors™ in New England, Briggs Heating and Air Conditioning, opened its newest location: Cape Cod Heat Pumps, LLC, in Bourne, Massachusetts.
Cape Cod Heat Pumps provides design services, installation and follow-up servicing. They also display our products and home comfort accessories in an interactive showroom. All showroom equipment is fully operational, providing cooling and heating for the building. During the opening weekend, visitors to the showroom were eligible for a variety of prizes, including wall-mounted units, $2,000 toward a multi-zone system and a $2,000 rebate.
The opening of Cape Cod Heat Pumps coincided with the announcement of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Clean Heating & Cooling program. Our technology, combined with Cape Cod Heat Pumps’ expertise, will help meet the program’s energy goals over the next five years.